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Tuesday, September 30, 2003 AD
"In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength."

"Be still, and know that I am God..."

"...the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight."

Lately my spirit has been filled with manic cacaphony, frenzied chaos, whirling clamor, warring voices. If I could hear God's voice audibly, I think He'd be saying, "Hush, child." I do hear His voice in His word, and He seems to be saying so there, too. These verses call me like a pillow at the end of a weary day -- "Rest. Trust. Cease striving. Be still. Be quiet. Be content. Be at peace."

Where am I saying "No" to this call? There's an alarm constantly blaring in my head, summoning me to arms and to action in pursuit of safety and rest, but in my striving for it, the thing I seek necessarily eludes me. Of course it's because I'm telling the Source of Rest -- the Lord of the Sabbath -- to hold on just a sec (a very long sec, as it turns out) while I root around for my security blanket. The panic that ensues when I can't find it makes me search even more frantically. I think the hardest thing in the world for me to believe is that I don't need it--that Christ is my security, and that I am swaddled in Him.

O LORD, my heart is not lifted up;
    my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
    too great and too marvelous for me.

But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
    like a weaned child with its mother;
    like a weaned child is my soul within me.

O Israel, hope in the LORD
    from this time forth and forevermore.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 9/30/2003 06:47:00 PM • Permalink
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"And Detroit is the home of the alligator shoe."

Betcha didn't know that, didja?
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 9/30/2003 10:56:00 AM • Permalink
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I'm Full of Beans
The wise among you will know this already. Sometimes I'm aware of it myself. I just felt the need to say it, lest anyone was under any illusion to the contrary.

I've just been reading a lot of stuff I've written and realized how silly some of it is from time to time and place to place. I just wanted to laugh at my foolishness and ignorance before I go back to thinking too well of myself. That's all! :-)

(Edited for Barb's sake.)
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 9/30/2003 02:25:00 AM • Permalink
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Monday, September 29, 2003 AD
Audio Bible Idea
I'd like to have a recorded Bible on CD, but I can't find one I like. I think what bugs me is that they all seem to be recorded by actors who, well, act. Blech. What I'd love is a Bible read by pastors who would (one would hope) not be acting, but ministering the Word with love for it and faith in it. Wouldn't it be cool to do a recording with a bunch of pastors reading various parts of the Bible? It could all be done pretty cheap, I think, with volunteer labor. The KJV is public domain, and a good translation for listening, even if it's imperfect. Most churches do sermon tapes, so the recording equipment is pretty readily available. There should be some sort of audition process, to select guys with clear voices who don't talk too slow or too fast. We wouldn't need to aim for perfection...if somebody stumbles over a sentence, that's OK, just re-read it. It would mostly take some time and some organization to get the actual recording done. The names of the readers could remain anonymous so as not to be a distraction. The distibution might be time-consuming, and there would be a minimal charge or, better yet, a recommended donation and a give-what-you-can policy to cover the recording costs. Sound interesting to anybody else?
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 9/29/2003 10:45:00 PM • Permalink
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Hey John R!
Have you ever heard of this guy?
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 9/29/2003 08:48:00 PM • Permalink
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Interview Questions for Jessie B and John B2
1) A new guy shows up at church and shows an interest in you. Turns out he's Mr. Right. What are the top 10 criteria that he meets?
2) After a whirlwind romance, Mr. Right proposes and you accept. Tell us about the wedding you plan.
3) A couple weeks after the honeymoon, you're suspicious. Another couple weeks and you're sure. You're pregnant! Not only that, the doctor says it's quadruplets! What do you name your two boys and two girls and why (Mr. Right leaves the decision to you)?
4) The last several weeks of your pregnancy you're restricted to bedrest. Mr. Right is, of course, pampering you as much as humanly possible. He offers to bring you the sun or the moon or anything else your heart desires. Since you're already feeling a bit crowded, you opt for something smaller than celestial orbs and tell him you'd like to catch up on some videos and some books that you haven't had the chance to see/read yet. He offers to pick up five of each post-haste. What are they?
5) The quads are born happy and healthy. Three months later the grateful Mr. Right wants to celebrate your anniversary in style. Since you're not quite ready to leave the babies, he springs for a chef to come to the house and prepare whatever your heart desires. What's on the menu?
1) How did you discern your call to the ministry?
2) Why the PCA?
3) If you could change one decision made by the PCA GA in the past five years, what would it be and why?
4) If you could go back and talk to yourself at age 18, what advice, warnings and encouragement would you give yourself?
5) Far into the future, when you are old and full of years, you decide to write out some instructions for your funeral. What hymns and scriptures do you select, and what other specific instructions do you make?
And don't forget to post and follow the rules:

::If you would like to participate too, here are your instructions:
1. Leave me a comment saying "interview me."
2. I will respond by asking you five questions (not the same as you see here).
3. You will update your blog/site with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.::
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 9/29/2003 07:20:00 PM • Permalink
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Do You Really Remember What You Remember?
Lucy Zoe's September 29 post, "Will You Remember When You're Older?" reminds me of a memory. My mom was reading to my niece and nephew -- one on either side of her on the couch. As her eyes followed the text down, she kept falling asleep at the bottom of the page. Each time, Becky and Chip, like mirror-image bookends, would lean forward and turn their heads to look at their Grandmom.

I have this image so strongly in my mind's eye, and it's one of those family stories that gets told over and over and still gets lots of laughs (it's better when told in person so you can mimic the players), but I'm not sure if I actually witnessed it. I think I must have. I think I was the one who kept waking her up between pages. But maybe the kids woke her up, and she just told me the story later.

Sometimes we don't have the memories we think we have...we just have memories of the memories. And sometimes we don't know if we remember what we remember.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 9/29/2003 03:28:00 PM • Permalink
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Saturday, September 27, 2003 AD
Interview Answers for John B2
1) If you were to re-locate for parts inland, what five things peculiar to Maryland would you fondly miss?
  • My house. It would be really hard to give up the house I grew up in.
  • Knowing where things are. My sense of direction is the stuff of legends. The sort of legends that leave people rolling on the floor in helpless laughter. I get lost often enough around here. Learning a new town would be downright painful.
  • Crabs prepared the right way.
  • Friends and family who live here or who are closer here than they would be if I lived inland.
  • Um...I can't think of anything else. I really don't have any great attachment to this place except that it's home.
2) If you were the choir director at your congregation for the month of October, what selections would you have the choir sing each Lord's Day at the morning worship service?
I'm going to be lazy in answering this and just pick a piece for each Sunday. If I were really a choir director, I'd be much more concerned about picking songs that suited the day's sermon themes.

The first two are audio links:
  • "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" by J.S. Bach -- It don't get no better than that
  • "Glory to Glory" by Fred Hammond -- This recording actually is our choir -- my favorite song that we sing. We sound way better than this in person, though. For one thing, we don't tend to skip while we sing. ;-)
  • "He Was Pierced" by Maggi Dawn -- Couldn't find a recording online. This is a lovely, sweet setting of Isaiah 53 published by Thankyou Music (the same folks who publish Graham Kendrick's stuff). I did an arrangement for a trio a few years ago that I think would work for a choir, too.
  • One of the hymns I've written -- Conceited choice, perhaps, but I sure would like to hear one sung by more than me!
3) If one were to accompany you in shopping at the supermarket, what particular pet peeves of yours might become known?
Dang, you really want to expose my sin nature, don't you? I've got enough pet peeves to open a zoo, and plenty of 'em claim the supermarket as their natural domain. Here are a few that come quickly to mind:
  • Do you think I've got nothing better to do than stand in the aisle converting pounds to ounces? Put the unit prices for similar products in the same units, fercryinoutloud!
  • Oh, child, I know you're not in front of me in the 10 items or less aisle with 16 items. I don't care how small they are so they don't look like much in your basket or if a dozen of them are the same thing, it will take me 30 seconds longer to get through this line and that is simply intolerable!
  • Would you please make some attempt to parent your child who is climbing the shelves or whining for the Sugar-Coated Candy Bombs?
  • Cleanup in checkout aisles 1-12! Get rid of this sleaze, please!
  • Figures. Completely out of the one item I particularly came here to buy!
  • So let me get this straight. I can write a check for over the amount of my purchase if I've written and cleared 10 checks in a row here, but you can't tell me how many checks I've written and cleared already...I would have to waste a check over the amount and then rewrite it if it didn't clear? I'm going to SuperFresh where they actually want my business.
4) On the buttons of your car radio, from left to right, what are the stations and formats of what you've selected?
My radio fritzes out often enough that I usually only have the local Christian station set. If I'm not in the mood for whatever dreck is being preached or whatever schlock is being sung (in other words, most of the time), I might scan for the oldies station or the classic rock station, but usually I'll opt for a tape or just shut it off. I go through NPR phases from time to time, too.
5) Favorite geyser at Yellowstone?
Old Faithful, I guess. Since I didn't get a chance to spend much time in that area of the park, I didn't get too attached to the geysers. Give me my waterfalls and I'm much happier!
::If you would like to participate too, here are your instructions:
1. Leave me a comment saying "interview me."
2. I will respond by asking you five questions (not the same as you see here).
3. You will update your blog/site with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.::
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 9/27/2003 01:35:00 AM • Permalink
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Friday, September 26, 2003 AD
Interview Questions for Toni
1) Describe your earring collection -- quantity, styles, etc. (I like earrings, too!)
2) Uh-oh! You've just been sentenced to a month in solitary confinement. The good news is that you get to listen to music while you're in there. The bad news is that you only get to listen to one music CD. The good news is that you get to pick the music CD. The bad news is that it will be played incessantly -- 24 hours a day -- for the entire term of your imprisonment. What do you pick and why? (No home-burned compilations allowed).
3) Whew! You survived your imprisonment! But you've just found out that the authorities are after you again. (What have you been up to, girl?) Bill has decided to pack the family off to a distant desert island where no one will find you. Who knows how long you'll be there? You've packed everything else and find that you have room for exactly 5 DVDs. Which do you choose and why?
4) Years later, the FBI tracks you down, but there's good news! They're willing to grant you immunity in exchange for your testimony in another case. You agree to the deal. The circumstances are such that you will have to enter the witness protection program after the trial. You have to choose a new name for yourself. Bill says you can choose his new name, too. What names do you pick and why?
5) You move into your new house and start work on a garden. While you're digging one day, your shovel hits a box. There's a hundred thousand dollars in it, along with a note saying, "I, Philpot Q. Schnickelfritz, being of sound mind, but also being just a little eccentric, hereby bequeath the money in this box to whomever might find it. Spend it any way you want." How do you spend it?
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 9/26/2003 06:00:00 PM • Permalink
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Thursday, September 25, 2003 AD
Interview Questions for Bill
1) How did you manage to meet and woo and win "the purdiest girl"?
2) What is your earliest memory?
3) When and how did you become Reformed?
4) If you could have lunch tomorrow with one person named in scripture (other than any member of the Trinity), whom would you choose, why, and where would you take him to eat?
5) If you suddenly won an enormous scholarship that would provide for all your family's needs while you studied for four years, what school would you choose and what would you study and why and why?
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 9/25/2003 07:42:00 PM • Permalink
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"A study into the roots of gospel music by an American professor has lead the accomplished musician, who has played with Duke Ellington and Dizzy Gillespie, to conclude that the 'good news' music sung in black American churches originated from Scotland, not Africa." (Link from Parkonomos.)
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 9/25/2003 05:27:00 PM • Permalink
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Wednesday, September 24, 2003 AD
Interview Questions for Roy and Paul

1) What was the first job you ever had and how has that experience impacted your current work?
2) What is your church/denominational history?
3) What is your favorite story about one of your ancestors?
4) Congratulations! You've just won an all-expenses-paid, 30-day trip to anywhere outside North America. Where do you go and why?
5) Alas! Upon returning from foreign parts, you are arrested, tried, found guilty and sentenced to five years in solitary confinement. You are allowed to take a Bible and three other books with you. Which books do you choose and why?
1) My piano has not been tuned in probably over 30 years. Should I be sentenced to a) a term in solitary confinement (specify length), b) a term of hard labor (specify length and nature of work), c) a term in the public stocks (specify length), or d) other (specify specifics)?
2) Speaking of sentences, you've just been sentenced to 30 days of solitary confinement. They've given you a walkman and enough batteries to play a total of about 15 hours of music. What CDs do you take and why (home-burned mixes not allowed!)? How do you allot the 15 hours?
3) Tuning pianos is your forte. What sort of job would you consider yourself least qualified for and/or least interested in doing?
4) How did you propose to your wife?
5) What are the most challenging and the most rewarding aspects of being a deacon?
And don't forget to post and follow the rules:

::If you would like to participate too, here are your instructions:
1. Leave me a comment saying "interview me."
2. I will respond by asking you five questions (not the same as you see here).
3. You will update your blog/site with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.::
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 9/24/2003 10:13:00 PM • Permalink
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Anybody in the B'more Area Wanna Go See "Luther" on Saturday?
It will be playing at the White Marsh Loew's -- 1:40, 4:40, or 7:30. I'm inclined to see one of the earlier shows, with lunch before or dinner after. Leave me a comment or send me an e-mail if you're interested.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 9/24/2003 08:57:00 PM • Permalink
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25,000 Visits
My 25,000th visitor was somebody using Comcast at 3:48 this morning. Of course these numbers aren't exact -- I'd been blogging for a few months before I installed Site Meter, and wonky Verizon keeps changing my IP and counting my own visits.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 9/24/2003 02:15:00 PM • Permalink
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Tuesday, September 23, 2003 AD
Interview Answers for Barb
1. You are in the 3rd grade. Your brothers are out for the day but you must stay at home. How will you pass the time?
Read. (That question was way too easy!)
2. In all of your travels, which trip did you most enjoy and why?
Hmmm...I'm still pretty high off that Chicago trip, but I think I'll still go with my Montana/Wyoming vacation in 1995. (Yikes! It's been that long?) I'd worked in Yellowstone during the summers of '88 and '89, which had been good but stressful. This time was just for pleasure. I got to spend over a week with my friend Martha, who at the time was my most kindred of kindred spirits. (Alas, she's since gone to Rome, while I've settled in Geneva, and we are much less kindred now.) I visited my old haunts in the park. I made my favorite hike to the brink of the Lower Falls. I stopped for a bit at the little unnamed waterfall that isn't exactly spectacular, but it's a nice idyllic wooded place to sit and munch an apple and read a book and meditate on God's grandeur in creation. Then I hiked back up all the many switchbacks (I was in much better shape then!) and headed for the Grand Tetons. I stopped on the way at a museum (the Whitney Gallery of Western Art?) that Martha's husband Dan recommended. I got a quick look at the mountains before heading back to Martha's and Dan's in Gardiner. This was really too far to go on a day trip!

The three of us visited Virginia City on another day. That was not too far to go for a day trip, and it was lots of fun. I remember listening to "Through the Fire" by The Clay (a recording made in Hungary by a now-defunct band that included a friend of mine) and "Dancing in the Dragon's Jaws" by Bruce Cockburn (one of my all-time favorite albums) in the car on the journey. Martha called the latter "perfect park music."

I extended my stay with Martha and Dan as long as possible, but since I'd promised my friend Linnae that I'd visit her, too, I eventually bade them goodbye and headed for Bozeman. Linnae and her husband, John, took me hiking and I ate the best meal of my life on that outing -- antelope meat (from their freezer, having been hunted by John) and onions roasted on a camp fire. Mmm, mmm good! I can't remember if we camped out or if we just went on another outing the next day, but I had to get from wherever we were back to the airport that evening to return my rental car.

I hadn't left enough time, so, this being the glory days of no speed limits in Montana, I drove back at a hundred miles an hour. Wooooo-whee! And then I couldn't find the car rental place! So I called 'em. Turns out they didn't actually have an office at the airport, but they told me where to leave the car so they could get it the next day. Happily spared the unpleasantness of a planned night in the airport lobby, I headed off to a cheap motel for the night and returned to the airport in in the morning for my flight back to Baltimore.
3. If you could magically adapt your voice and ability to any style of music, what piece would you most like to sing?
I'd become a whole choir and sing the Agnus Dei set to Barber's Adagio for Strings.
4. Which one and why?
Gauguin or Renoir?
Are those my only two choices? I'm not gaga for either, but I guess I prefer Gauguin's boldness and vibrant colors to Renoir's mushiness.
Early morning or late at night?
"Morning"...isn't that what you do when someone dies?
Harry Potter or Chronicles of Narnia?
Harry has entertained me greatly, but Narnia was my bread and meat during my adolescence. Nothing will ever supplant the place Narnia holds in my affections.
Luxury automobile or sports car?
Luxury. Sports cars have never looked very comfortable to me. My great hope for my next car is enough legroom that I don't get cramped when I drive for long distances.
Contrasting colors or complimentary colors?
I love complimentary colors...the ones that say, "Valerie! You look fabulous today!" or "You are such a nice person!" or "Wow! You are such a genius!" Oh...maybe you meant complementary colors? ;-) Um, I thought complementary colors were contrasting colors. I knew I should have taken a color theory class!
Addendum: Complementary or analogous colors?

Depends on the context. For clothing, probably analogous in most cases. Today's ensemble is turquoise with green, blue and purple. I can't imagine wearing turquoise with orange. I guess I tend toward analagous colors in design work, too -- e.g. this blog layout. But complements can be nice, too. My Christmas layout was red and green. And I've done more contrasting colors in some other folks' blogs, but generally with subtler colors than primaries and secondaries.
5. When did you leave home, circumstances and experiences?
I left home at about quarter past seven. I tried to sneak out through the back yard to go pick up my car from its other home at the repair shop, but Mr. Henry, my next door neighbor, was lying in wait again and would not hear of my walking down to the service station alone. He shanghaied Maurice, the neighbor on the other side of his house, to give me a ride. I had the not-so-pleasant experience of paying a hundred and fifty bucks for the work (repairing the map sensor and replacing the spark plugs and wires), and then I had the so-pleasant experience of starting the car and not having it stall three times before I go on the road.

And just in case you meant that question in a different sense ;-) I never really left home. I went away for a while a couple times, but I'm back where I started.

The first time I left was my freshman year of college. We packed all my stuff in the Little Blue Chevette (baby, you're much too slow!) and headed to New Hampshire for an August vacation, not knowing whether I was going to Simon's Rock or not. We stopped at the college for a tour and interview and were told that they'd never received my application. Although I feigned surprise at this news, I knew they couldn't have received it, because I'd never sent it. I was such a compulsive little liar! That lie was so big, though, and so easy to get away with, that it scared me. I didn't confess, but I did get much more truthful after that. Wish I could say compulsively so, but the old man dies hard and very, very slowly. Anyway, they let me in. Mom had to get back to B'more, so when we made our usual stop at my cousin's in Connecticut she left on Sunday, the 28th. The next day I turned 16 without the fanfare that often accompanies such an occasion, and Maryann drove me to Great Barrington on the 30th.

The next year, having already blown my entire college fund, I went to Towson and lived at home.

The year after, still attending Towson, I moved out to live with my friend Chris and her two golden retrievers. I was working as an assistant manager at a bookstore, which paid the rent and kept me fed. My tuition was stolen from the U.S. taxpayers of the time. Sorry 'bout that. If it's any comfort, I'm pretty sure I've given back way more than four times as much. I wonder why my mom, who would never in a million years have taken welfare (though we surely would have qualified), didn't have qualms about government financial aid. I'll have to ask her about that sometime.

I moved back home for my remaining years of college, did my second Yellowstone stint after my May '89 graduation, and then lived with friends upon returning to Baltimore. First I lived for a year with Eileen and Joe and their little daughter Kate. It was Kate who nicknamed me Bobbie because she couldn't say Valerie. Then I lived for nine months with Pat and her yellow Lab Jessie.

When mom announced she was going to live in New Hampshire long-term to take care of Nana, who had Alzheimer's, I moved back home and I've been there ever since. I became a proud mortgage owner in 2000. Just 12 more years and it's all mine, baby.

::If you would like to participate too, here are your instructions:
1. Leave me a comment saying "interview me."
2. I will respond by asking you five questions (not the same as you see here).
3. You will update your blog/site with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.::
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 9/23/2003 09:52:00 PM • Permalink
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Sunday, September 21, 2003 AD
"It's not about following the rules"
Well, yes and no. "Getting saved" is not about following the rules, as in earning one's way. But living the Christian life is about following the rules, as in striving to be conformed to the image of Jesus -- obedient and submitted to God in all things. It's not about following the shape of the rules without following the heart of them, but neither is it about pretending we can follow the heart of the rules without following the shape of them.

And saying "God isn't angry" without qualifying what it is He's supposedly not angry about and who it is He's supposedly not angry with is very shaky ground indeed. Romans 1:18ff is in the present tense. True, He has poured out on His Son the wrath earned by his children, but that doesn't mean that He's got no wrath left.

Anyway, there's my complaints about this morning's sermon. :^/
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 9/21/2003 07:35:00 PM • Permalink
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My Pirate Name: Mad Prudentilla Cash
"Every pirate is a little bit crazy. You, though, are more than just a little bit. You're musical, and you've got a certain style if not flair. You'll do just fine. Arr!"

What's your pirate name?

There actually was a pirate with the same name as my mother's ancestors, and in the right region at the right time that he might have been related to me. Wouldn't that just be the coolest?
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 9/21/2003 05:08:00 PM • Permalink
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Saturday, September 20, 2003 AD
Secondhand Lions
Go see this movie. Right now. Go on. Shoo. Git. Vamoose.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 9/20/2003 08:37:00 PM • Permalink
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Friday, September 19, 2003 AD
Gregory Hines, 1946-2003
Is it just that I'm utterly out of touch, or was there just very little media mention of Gregory Hines' death last month? I learned of it only a few moments ago from Angel's blog. I feel a much greater personal sense of loss over Hines than over John Ritter or Johnny Cash. I loved to watch that man move, and I'm sad that the movement has ended.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 9/19/2003 12:08:00 AM • Permalink
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Thursday, September 18, 2003 AD
I Wanna Move...
...to Hartford or Hereford or Hampshire. Of course then I wouldn't get weather-wimp days off work!
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 9/18/2003 01:09:00 PM • Permalink
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Thanks, Paulo!
Paulo, whom I miss muchly (especially considering his blogging hiatus) now that he's moved from Baltimore back to D.C., sent me a very generous couple of belated birthday presents, which arrived while I was out of town: She Must & Shall Go Free and The Complete Manual of Typography. Thanks, Pau!
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 9/18/2003 01:35:00 AM • Permalink
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Tuesday, September 16, 2003 AD
Chicago Trip
Story and pics are up!
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 9/16/2003 07:14:00 PM • Permalink
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Thursday, September 11, 2003 AD
To Do List
Things I need to do before arriving at Barb's on Friday
1. Pack bolt-cutters
2. Find good parakeet recipe
3. Open Swiss bank account
4. Buy plastic explosives
5. Dig metal detector out of basement
6. Learn Houdini escape tricks (just in case)
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 9/11/2003 01:56:00 PM • Permalink
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Wednesday, September 10, 2003 AD
(What Would a Sensible Person Do?)

Although the fuel injector cleaner (thanks, Bill!) seems to have had some positive effect, my car is still pretty cranky when idling at stoplights and such. I'm just not going to have time to have it looked at before I leave for Chicago on Friday. Would it be Really Stupid to risk driving the thing that far, or should I rent a car for the weekend?
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 9/10/2003 11:42:00 AM • Permalink
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Tuesday, September 09, 2003 AD
It's Election Day! Woo-hoo! Yippee!!!
Am I excited that as an American citizen over 18 registered to vote in Baltimore City I have the indisputable right to cast my ballot for the liberal Democrats of my choice? Nope. I'm ecstatic that the barrage of election ads will now cease to flood my mailbox and clog my answering machine! Hooray!!!

EDIT, 4:02 p.m: Weird! You were right, Brian!
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 9/09/2003 12:34:00 PM • Permalink
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Sunday, September 07, 2003 AD
The Secret Life of Bees
Books like this one make me wish I were capable of writing something intelligent about literature, but since I can't, I'll just try to write something intelligible about my response to it.

The Secret Life of Bees is one of those tales that taps into past pain, drawing it out for reexamination. The best of such stories also give a balm for the pain, but such was not the case here as only a false cure was proffered. Oh, I know..."a willing suspension of disbelief" and what not, but at least give me something interesting over which to suspend my disbelief. Mother goddesses really don't do the trick for me. When the narrative elicited grief over my past, I wanted my Father.

And so the book was of value to me in that turning over the soil of the past makes me trust God in the present. Examining old scars is useful for gauging the extent of the healing process. Whereas once such a story would have ripped open the wounds in such as way as to leave me despairing, as I wept last night I was able to express a deepening faith in the sufficiency of God's grace. True I expressed it through sobs, but that perhaps affirms rather than detracts from the genuineness of my faith. I'm encouraged to see that my Father is transforming me into a more peace-filled, contented and obedient child.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 9/07/2003 07:43:00 PM • Permalink
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A Little Ditty
I wrote this a few days ago when I was thinking about somebody or other (can't now recall who) that's a little flaky and pondering that such things didn't really matter in the long run and should be borne with much more patience and grace than I usually manage...especially since I'm flaky enough to keep Kellogg's in business for the forseeable future.
We're all a little broken,
We're all a little odd,
But the foolishest among us
May be blest and used by God,
So be patient with each brother,
with each foible, with each flaw --
If you could see what he's becoming
You would look at him with awe.
Believe in the beauty of the bride --
Though it may not seem so now,
She will soon be glorified.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 9/07/2003 07:28:00 PM • Permalink
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Thursday, September 04, 2003 AD
Sharpening My Axe
Turns out I'm not going to stay with Brad and Shannon after all, but with another friend, Mary, who lives north of the city. Good thing I believe the people I encounter online are (for the most part) real people, or I'd have missed out on a lot of marvelous hospitality over the last few years!
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 9/04/2003 09:55:00 PM • Permalink
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OK, It Looks As If I'm Going to Chicago After All
My memories of last month's highly stressful travels seem to have faded enough for my desires to see friends to gain ascendancy. I'll leave B'more next Friday, September 12. My first stop will be Dayton where I'll stay with Barb and get to meet Dawn and HRH Queen J'fer the Blogless. On the 13th I'll head for Chicagotown, where I might, if time permits meet a couple other online friends as well as attending Brad's ordination on the 14th. Thence I shall return home via an overnight again at Barb's, arriving back in Baltimore sometime on the 15th and taking off work on the 16th to recover!

Of course Deo volente should be sprinkled liberally in the sentences above. :-)
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 9/04/2003 10:22:00 AM • Permalink
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Tuesday, September 02, 2003 AD
Oh, Carmon, It's Bee-Yoo-Tee-Full!
Carmon (actually, the note referenced the Friedrichs en masse) sent me this rather extravagant item for my birthday. I'd already received this delightful volume from Kelly, and devoured it this weekend. As is said on the cover, "It is impossible to be unhappy while reading the adventures of Jeeves and Wooster." Thank you so much, ladies!

Speaking of reading, I actually finished two other books this weekend, too: The Lord God Made Them All and The Legacy of Sovereign Joy. I'd started the former a few months ago, and put it down for a long stretch, then finally got back to it. There's just something about these stories that's so eminently sane. Perhaps because Herriot's character is so opposite my own -- he's hard-working and indefatigably cheerful whereas I'm impossibly lazy and entirely too prone to melancholy. The Piper I actually started a couple years ago. It contains brief bios of Augustine, Luther and Calvin. When I first started it, I read the intro (and wrote this hymn) and the bit on Augustine, but then moved on to other things. I wasn't as excited by the sections on Luther and Calvin -- the bit on Luther because I already knew a little about him and didn't learn a whole lot more; the bit on Calvin because I don't know much about him and didn't learn a whole lot more.

And speaking of my birthday, it was a marvelous one. My dear friend and favorite lurker, Joan, had invited me for dinner. She didn't tell me she was also inviting a contingent of other friends, so it was a bit of a surprise party. There were eight of us in all -- just the right number, and just the right folks to make a perfect party. Thanks Joan, Barbara, Jocelyn, Greg, Randall*, Carneal and Arlette*!

*For an extra bonus, I got to whup these two at Scrabble. ;-)
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 9/02/2003 04:00:00 PM • Permalink
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